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Vision and Change Teacher-Recommended Collection: Endocrine system

View Resources Scroll down to view the resources in this collection. APS
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Description Collection Description
Resources to help teaching of endocrine system at UG level (pre-nursing anatomy & physiology). All resources are activities, which can be used as individual or group projects (in-class or for submission).

How were the items in this collection used?
These items were used in an undergraduate lower division anatomy-physiology course. The animations and the rat activity were used as in-class activities. The case studies were used as a combination of in-class group activity (over several days) resulting in a submission of a report. The report could be either based on the original questions, or a summary of the disorder(s) in the study.

Who used this collection?
The author has used them.

Which of the V&C Core Concepts does this collection address?
Structure & Function ('Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.')
Very obvious in the case of the virtual rats, where structural changes occur due to hormonal effects or lack thereof. Also well addressed in Eric's case.

Pathways and Transformations of Energy and Matter ('Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.')
Especially in the case of the virtual rats, effect of hormones can be connected to metabolic changes (weight).

Systems ('Living systems are interconnected and interacting.')
Addressed thoroughly through modeling the interactions between hormones and their effects on a variety of systems and organs.

Which of the V&C Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practices does this collection address?
Ability to Apply the Process of Science ('Biology is evidence based and grounded in the formal practices of observation, experimentation, and hypothesis testing.')
Very well addressed, as most activities require hypotheses and their evaluation. Furthermore, in the cases of Eric and Mary, providing the material gradually reinforces the scientific process as students test and then analyze new information.

Ability to Use Quantitative Reasoning ('Biology relies on applications of quantitative analysis and mathematical reasoning.')
The virtual rat experiment requires quantitative reasoning. Also, all lab results require some quantitative processing.

Ability to Use Modeling and Simulation ('Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.')
The activities involving “rats” could be considered a type of simple simulation.

Ability to Tap into the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science ('Biology is an interdisciplinary science.')
The chemical structure of hormones and their effects can be discussed.

Ability to Communicate and Collaborate with Other Disciplines ('Biology is a collaborative scientific discipline.')
All activities of this collection are very appropriate for group projects.

Ability to Understand the Relationship between Science and Society ('Biology is conducted in a societal context.')
It lends itself to a variety of discussion, from ethical issues (mentioned in Eric's case, or regarding animal experimentation and its alternatives) to questions about society's role in regulating hormones in livestock for example.

Please enter suggestions for colleagues.
While the Interactive games are more for helping students memorize and practice concepts, the other activities require deep analysis and discussion. Expect students wanting to "google" the keywords and find the right answer asap. Insist on the importance of the process and analyzing each piece of information. If in small groups, be sure to dedicate some time to clarify misconceptions at the group level.

Type of Resource Annotated Collection
Format Web Page - HTML
Ana Maria Barral, National University
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Learning Time 4-6 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by Partner Organization

Resources in Collection
Click on any teaching resource's title for detailed information.
Web Site Links
Mary Keeper Aching Head Case Study
This case study combines several endocrine disorders (associated directly or indirectly with the pituitary) in one case study. It is very appropriate after covering the different endocrine glands, or at least the hypothalamus/hypophysis axis and hormones. The level is appropriate for UG anatomy/physiology students.


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A good collection of resource. i am sure that virtual rats and the set of ineteractive games will engage the students more in the learning process. It is learning with fun.

—Muhammad Adnan Kanpurwala, Karachi Institute of Medical Sciences

I believe the Chemical Eric case and the Virtual Rats will be very interactive and useful for the students to understand these concepts they typically find difficult.  The Games is not as higher level but is a quick and handy way to review.

—Daniel Williams, Winston-Salem State University

I teach undergraduate anatomy & physiology and the endocrine system can be a hard topic for students to understand. The games and activities can make studying the endocrine system fun and engaging. 

I try to use case studies whenever I can with my students. I think that the Chemical Eric case study helps students to apply the endocrine system with the real world application of the material. This is very useful!

Jennifer Militello 

—Jennifer Militello, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES